Republic Media drops ‘Asianet’ from company name. Issues statement on Arnab Goswami’s 82% ownership

20 Feb,2020

By A Correspondent

 

No, Republic TV is not owned by Rajeev Chandrasekhar or the BJP. Now this has been underscored by Editor-in-Chief, Founder and Managing Director Arnab Goswami several times, but there are still some/many people who don’t buy that. It’s perhaps got to do with the nature of Goswami’s editorial aggression.

 

Agreed there are stories and issues that he raises against some BJP folks (like the UP CM or the Karnataka CM), but many regular trackers of the channel say this his ire is hardly ever directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Home Minister Amit Shah. But this report is not to talk of the Republic TV’s editorial positioning or its challenges. And, yes, we do know that it has been up there on the ratings roster, so the fact of the matter is that there are enough takers for Republic TV’s journalism.

 

We also know that Goswami is not the only television journalist who is most often belligerent against the political and moral opponents of the BJP regime. But given his stature and being the leader of the pack, he attracts all the attention and which is why perhaps a Kunal Kamra directed his ire at the Republic TV founder and not the others. Or so we believe.

 

Meanwhile, we note that the holding company of Republic TV – ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd – has dropped the Asianet from its name. Asianet, as we know, is the media company promoted by BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

 

So here’s the relevant part of the statement, that we publish as is:

 

“At the time of the launch of the English Channel Republic TV, Mr Arnab Goswami though his personal investment and family structures entirely controlled by him, had around 84 % of shareholder equity through his promoter entity in ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd.

 

“After the initial capital raise to fund the launch of the English Channel, Mr Arnab Goswami raised further capital for expansion through a small equity raise, in February 2019, and since then continues to hold over 82 % of ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd. Further, his company of which he sole promoter, owns 99 % equity in the downstream digital entity that controls the digital assets of the network under the URL www.republicworld.com.

 

“All of Mr Arnab Goswami’s three legal and corporate entities are registered in India. His present controlling equity of 82% + makes him one of the largest individual shareholders in the Indian news media landscape and the first journalist to achieve this feat.

 

“Therefore, Mr Arnab Goswami, the Editor in Chief of the Republic Media Network is the  sole promoter and Chairman of the Board of the Republic Media Network (RMN). This makes the Republic Media Network aside from being solely promoted, a career journalist owned network, which is unique in the context of Indian News Media ownership.”

 

Well, there are other career journalists also who’ve promoted and run other media networks. But that’s a minor point and we aren’t going to be arguing that.

 

We tried to find who owns the rest of the 18% of ARG Outlier and were told it was owned by high networth individuals (HNIs) and some funds. No names were disclosed, but we’ll find out. We’re sure there are some filings made somewhere.

 

Having said that, we have no reason to believe that the statement are untrue or it’s a case of ‘jumla’, that word we heard from a senior BJP functionary first a few years back. In fact we confirmed the veractity with a couple of neutral media observers. But we would like to know (and publish) who the other 18 percenters are, because clearly the 82% owned by Goswami is entirely by way of monetary investments. It’s sweat equity and all the things that the Big Boss brings to the table. Hence knowing the source of monies that have come in the form of investments is vital. For, it’s not big for the nation wanting to know, but clearly (and surely), the Media Wants to Know!

 

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